We came home yesterday from an amazing week away together visiting my parents in Florida. We had a very rocky start with the whole flu drama, but somehow it escaped us ALL and the cooler temps turned for the better during the latter part of the week and we soaked it all us, God was looking over us, and we had the best time together. It was so nice to spend time with my parents, it warms my heart to see how much they love Brian and Grace, and how much Brian and Grace love them.
When Brian and I came home yesterday and tackled the unpacking and getting the house back in order, after singing out hearts out to Tiny Dancer to the point little Brian begged us to stop, we looked at each other and laughed at how lucky we are to have so much fun together. Even when cooped up inside during the long winter months, we always manage to have fun. And I have to give a lot of the credit to Brian for this one, because I can be a serious downer in cold weather, he kind of shakes it out of me and reminds me to laugh and enjoy the moment.
After that brief conversation about having fun together, Brian and I brainstormed 10 ways we manage to have fun and be happy inside our house with our two little ones during the winter.
- MUSIC, MUSIC, MUSIC. We ALWAYS have our favorite music on when we’re home, and we like to put on our favorites, not nursery rhymes although sometimes we let them win. You can read this post about our favorite tunes.
- DANCING. With the music comes the dance parties, at all hours of the day, dance parties are encouraged. They usually break out in our kitchen because that’s where the music plays, and Grace and Brian LOVE it.
- SINGING. I promise we’re not trying to train our kids for broadway, but singing. We sing a lot, to our favorite songs, to nursery rhymes, ABC’s you name it. The louder the better and you better applaud and say “yayyyy” when the singing stops.
- FORTS. We love to build forts, although after buying this teepee, we usually spend our time huddled inside this one, and it’s also become a place the kids like to go when they want quiet time. Brian is so cute, he’ll drag all the stuffed animals and blankets inside to make it super cozy and then he and Grace chiiiiiill.
- SPORTS. We have a big open basement so a lot of sporting activity goes on down there. Basketball, soccer, playing catch, tag, jumping on the couch, whatever. Over the top cheering for each other encouraged.
- MOVIES. Although our kids usually only stay interested for about 15 minutes, getting all cozied up on the couch with a snack is always fun while it lasts. Zootopia + Moana have been on repeat and Big Brian and I usually end up watching way more than the kids.
- HIDE & SEEK. This game always goes over well and Brian is just understanding the point of not coming out of his hiding spot and saying “Boo!” before we actually find him, lol. Grace actually gets it and hides, and sometimes we freak out because we can’t find her << not fun.
- CRAFTS. I’ll admit I’m not a huge fan of crafts, they are kind of boring to me, but Brian loves them so I do them. I’ve learned it really doesn’t matter what you’re making, it’s the sitting down together and the attention I’m giving him that he likes. I also know he loves cutting with his scissors and glueing so I just find something simple on pinterest and we make that together. And while we’re doing our craft, I’ll try and keep Grace occupied with a simpler version or something else. We have this table and it’s not only super cute, but it’s really sturdy and we spend a lot of time on it. It's also on sale right now! And we have these chairs in aqua which are also super cute and sturdy. You can see them this post...
- INDOOR PICNICS. Picnics are a favorite during the warmer months so lots of times we’ll set up a blanket somewhere in the house and pretend. I’ll make us a summer-y lunch of a sandwich, homemade lemonade (which we make together) and chips, and we’ll go have a picnic.
- COOKING AND BAKING. Brian LOVES to be in the kitchen cooking with me. He loves mixing things together, pouring ingredients, etc..Even if we have nothing to cook, I’ll let him experiment with mixing colored water (i put food coloring into cups with water and he mixes them together and makes new colors), flour and water, carrots and water, whatever really. He narrates it like he’s on a show, it’s super cute. And Grace I’ll do the same for Grace, although it’s a lot messier with her.
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photos by stephanie elliott photography